FINE AND EVEN HARDWOOD FOR CARVERS
Lightweight and with little discernible grain pattern, jelutong has a fine, even texture that makes it ideal for patternmaking and carving, while lacking the figure needed for more decorative work. Otherwise it is largely considered a utility species, with
the only feature being occasional small pockets of latex (used in chewing gum), which appear as tiny fissures and cannot always be avoided, although some woodworkers use them as a visual effect. It resembles common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) In color, but
in no other respect.
Type Tropical hardwood
Alternatives Common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens), European linden (Tilia x europaea), basswood (T. americana)
Sources Southeast Asia
Color Pale yellow, turning to cream or straw
Texture Fine and even
Grain Fairly straight
Hardness Medium-soft for a tropical hardwood
Weight Light (28 lb./cu. ft.) (450 kg/cu. m)
Seasoning and stability Quick and simple to season, and there is very little movement after drying.
Wastage Staining from seasoning and latex pockets may be hard to avoid and can increase wastage rates, though jelutong is rarely used for its looks.
Range of board widths Reasonable
Range of board thicknesses Usually thicker boards aimed at carvers and patternmakers
The latex pockets can be used for effect.
As a rule, softer, lighter lumber normally comes from faster-growing trees that are not being harvested to death. That is certainly true of jelutong, which does not appear on lists of endangered species.
AVAILABILITY AND COST
Available from specialist suppliers, but not expensive.